Institution

I.1 Summary of the institution's mission, historical context, and unique characteristics.

 

In 1887 the California Legislature approved the creation of the Northern Branch of the State Normal School for the purpose of training and educating teachers. Chico Normal School opened its doors to 90 students in 1889. Throughout the years, the college grew and its name changed to reflect that growth—from Chico Normal School to Chico State Teachers College to Chico State College. In 1972, we became known as California State University, Chico. Today, CSU Chico is a comprehensive university serving Northern California, the state, the nation, and the world, through instruction, research, creative activity and public service.  And today, as throughout our history, the preparation of educators is integral to our providing the educational and public services needed throughout northeastern California.

 

The motto of CSU Chico, “Today Decides Tomorrow,” reminds us that actions we take today lead to the possibilities and parameters that define our future. CSU, Chico is committed to assisting students in their search for knowledge and understanding, and preparing them with the attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning in order to assume responsibility in a democratic community and to be useful members of a global society. The university’s first of six strategic priorities is the education of our students through quality undergraduate and graduate programs. Other strategic priorities (I.5.f) focus on faculty/staff development, technology, service, resource management, and environmental literacy. Furthermore, in 2011 CSU Chico developed the Diversity Action Plan, the heart of which is inclusive excellence (I.5.g).  CSU Chico believes that “diversity – social, cultural, intellectual – is an essential element and value in our quest for excellence and the fulfillment of our mission.”

 

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the university began a revision of its strategic plan, beginning with possibility conversations inspired by the book Community: The Structure of Belonging (Block, 2009). In Phase I of this engagement process, faculty, staff, students, administrators and community members gathered in 61 possibility conversations to begin collecting information that would renew CSU Chico’s Academic Plan and revitalize our campus community (I.5.h). Phase II of this engagement process, occurring in 2014-2015, will focus on commitment and action.

 

Teacher preparation at both the initial and advanced levels is an all-university responsibility, inviting and requiring the participation of faculty and staff from across the university. Curriculum oversight at the university level is provided by the All-University Responsibility for Teacher Education Committee (AURTEC), which is composed of the Dean of the College of Communication and Education; the Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts; the Dean of Graduate Studies; the Director of the School of Education; the Coordinator of the Liberal Studies Program; the Chair of the Educational Policies and Procedures Committee (EPPC) of Academic Senate, and faculty representing Arts and Sciences Subject Matter Programs. AURTEC provides program and policy oversight for all programs of teacher preparation, including both undergraduate subject matter preparation programs and teacher credentialing programs. Significant changes to credential and subject matter programs are communicated to the Provost by AURTEC.

 

Intra-university collaboration is joined by strong links to schools and communities throughout northern California.  The CSU, Chico School of Education is a partner with the three area-wide beginning teacher support and assessment (induction) programs in order to form a seamless link between initial teacher preparation and at least the first two years of teaching.  Due to the nature of the region, a high percentage of those who receive their initial preparation at our institution remain in the geographic area and are directly served by the partner induction programs.